Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Aesop's "The Hare and the Tortoise"--translated by George Fyler Townsend (1867)

A Hare one day ridiculed the short feet and slow pace of the Tortoise, who replied, laughing: "Though you be swift as the wind, I will beat you in a race." The Hare, believing her assertion to be simply impossible, assented to the proposal; and they agreed that the Fox should choose the course and fix the goal. On the day appointed for the race the two started together. The Tortoise never for a moment stopped, but went on with a slow but steady pace straight to the end of the course. The Hare, lying down by the wayside, fell fast asleep. At last waking up, and moving as fast as he could, he saw the Tortoise had reached the goal, and was comfortably dozing after her fatigue.
Slow but steady wins the race.

This fable is so well-known that I had to include it in the blog at some point--why not today?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"What do I feed my Greek Tortoise?" Part 2

I have been frequenting a great site that I found a little while back called TotallyTortoise.com. There is some pretty good generic information on there that is helpful to any beginner keeper of chelonians. The page that I really like, however, is the Tortoise Blog. This site is pretty well-known so a lot of people get on and ask all sorts of questions. Honestly, many of the questions that I have read would be better posed to a veterinarian than to whomever happens to read and respond to a posting (and that's what I usually tell these folks--"Take your tortoise to a veterinarian").
Yesterday I came across a post from D who has a [beautiful] Golden Greek Tortoise. She asked three very good questions:

1.Is my tortoise getting fed properly?
2.Do I need to trim his nails and how?
3.Is shell flaking normal and should I use calcium supplement again?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A New Feature

After a hiatus of nearly a full month, I'm back to posting!
These last few weeks have been quite busy for me personally and professionally. I have a new job and Hector and Phoebe have a new and exciting feature in their home!
This addition adds around 300 square inches to their usable space--approximately a 78% increase! (Click here for more pictures of Hector and Phoebe's initial reactions including a lot of sniffing around and nibbling!)

This setup took quite a lot longer than it needed to, but I wanted to have something well-made that would last and look good. In order to do this I enlisted the help of L and I, hobbyist and professional carpenters with an impressive work history (including bathroom remodeling, basement remodeling, custom furniture, various kitchen tools and pieces, cabinetry, building restoration, and now a Greek Tortoise Ramp and Platform Assembly). We used Walnut, White Oak and rock (granite, quartz and basalt) that I sliced with a tile saw to construct it. This project is definitely over-engineered for the "stresses" that two small Greek Tortoises will put on it; but L and I were teaching me principles of woodworking and did none of the actual construction (they were more like advisors sitting in house while I was in the shop, but when I got stuck they were quite helpful). It was great fun, and I think the finished-product looks pretty good, if I do say so myself.